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A Room with a View [Audiobook] [Hardcover]

E. M. Forster , Dame Judi Dench
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 12 1994 1858498961 978-1858498966
This 1908 novel is about a young woman in the repressed society of Edwardian England. The setting is both Italy and England. Two cousins travel to Italy. Their hotel rooms have no view and they change rooms with two other gentlemen. Sounds harmless, but at the beginning to the 20^th century this was unseemly. After several plot twists the girls return to England with one of them engaged to a proper Englishman, but the man she met in Italy shows up. The story concludes with an elopement to Italy.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Description


I loved it. My first intimation of the possibilities of fiction -- Zadie Smith He says, and even more implies, things that no other novelist does, and we can go on reading Forster indefinitely The Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

This Edwardian social comedy explores love and prim propriety among an eccentric cast of characters assembled in an Italian pensione and in a corner of Surrey, England. A charming young English woman, Lucy Honeychurch, faints into the arms of a fellow Britisher when she witnesses a murder in a Florentine piazza. Attracted to this man, George Emerson--who is entirely unsuitable and whose father just may be a Socialist--Lucy is soon at war with the snobbery of her class and her own conflicting desires. Back in England she is courted by a more acceptable, if stifling, suitor, and soon realizes she must make a startling decision that will decide the course of her future: she is forced to choose between convention and passion. The enduring delight of this tale of romantic intrigue is rooted in Forster's colorful characters, including outrageous spinsters, pompous clergymen and outspoken patriots. Written in 1908, A Room With A View is one of E.M. Forster's earliest and most celebrated works. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, witty, insightful June 21 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wonderful book, wonderful movie, wonderful book-on-tape.
This classic by E. M. Forster is full of wicked humor that punctures the 19th century English class system. Superb cameo pieces. The character development is subtle and sure, beginning with our heroine traveling to Italy with her maiden aunt as chaperone. There, in a pensione, she meets an iconoclastic father and son, honest, rough-hewn, plain-spoken, who insist upon trading rooms when they overhear the prim aunt complaining that she booked a room with a view. It, of course, becomes a metaphor for room to view life as a whole, without prejudice, in all its wonderful complexity.
Don't miss this excellent book by this excellent author. Then read all his others, if you haven't already done so.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When the Universe doesn't fit April 9 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is still a classic. The fact that this book can still be entertaining nearly a hundred years after it's conception is testament enough to it's quality. It's the story of Lucy, struggling to find a comfortable place in adulthood, struggling to understand herself, struggling with the jarring influences of the unhappy people that surround her. And then she meets Mr. Emerson and his son George. Mr. Emerson is an old man who is disliked among the society folk because his kindness is more genuine than tactful. And his son George, raised free of all the prejudices and narrow-mindedness that plague nearly all the people he meets, is depressed because the universe doesn't seem to fit.
Learning to love a pair like the Emersons would seem to be easy for Lucy, but that is the struggle of this whole novel, how she creates such a muddle out of a simple thing and ends up, for the first time in her life, to begin to see clearly.
Forster finds a nice balance in this novel - engaging plot, unique and well-developed characters, and a fair dose of philosophy to lighten the burdens of your mind (all good philosophy should lighten your mind instead of weighing it down).
I would recommend this book on the simple fact that Mr. Emerson is, in many of his traits, the type of human being we should all strive to become(good-hearted, thought-provoking, devoted to expanding his mind instead of narrowing it, welcoming to all, poetic and deep). That alone recommends it. This may not be Forster's best, but it's one of them, and is more than worth the time (I finished it in three days, awfully fast, hungry for more when it was done).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over-rated Plot That Goes Nowhere June 27 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I hate to be the one to write a bad review about this book, however I feel there is a lot of hype surrounding this classic that is not deserved. The plot is fairly simple, and very similar to that of Romeo and Juliet. The girl loves a rogue, but her parents want her to marry the spectacular man they like. Etc. Some scenes in this Edwardian book I agree or slightly amusing, but it is not worth the read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Room for improvement Nov. 8 2001
By A.J.
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In modern terms, E.M. Forster's "A Room with a View" is a romantic comedy, and as such, it follows the typical formula of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl. This basic plot is, of course, embellished with a lot of comical characters, exotic settings, and convenient misunderstandings, but none of this mollifies my opinion that the novel, although well-written, is not very interesting.
Two fussy English women, the nubile Lucy Honeychurch and her older cousin Charlotte Bartlett, are staying in a small hotel (a pension) in Florence, Italy. There they meet the Emersons, a father and son, who do not seem to have much money and are hinted to be "Socialists," which reflects a prejudice on the part of the allegers and doesn't even really mean anything within the novel's scope. Lucy has a brief romance with the son, George, even though she knows he is not quite suitable for her social status. A few other characters also are introduced in Florence, including two clergymen, Mr. Beebe and Mr. Eager, and a romance novelist named Miss Lavish.
The action shifts back to England, where we meet Lucy's doting mother and frivolous, immature brother Freddy, who could be a progenitor for P.G. Wodehouse's aristocratic loafers. Lucy is courted by a snobbish young man named Cecil Vyse whom she has known for a few years and accepts his proposal for marriage. Trouble arises when George Emerson and his father show up as tenants in a nearby cottage, and Lucy must decide whether she is going to submit to social convention and marry Cecil or follow her heart and go with George. Care to take a wild guess about the outcome?
Forster obviously intended this novel to be a comedy, but his humor is stilted and contrived.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Forster's passion for life March 23 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was greatly impressed by the grasp that this male author had on the sometimes vague nature of emotion - his understanding, especially of women and their emotions, may stem from the fact that his father died soon after he was born and he was raised by his mother and two other women. This book is amazing, not only for the statement that it makes about women and their changing role in society at the time, but for it's great insight into the important aspects of life. For example, (and this is a running theme throughout the book)in the words of a little old lady at the pension: " ...have you ever noticed that there are people who do things which are most indelicate, and yet at the same time - beautiful?" This philosophy of life highlights Forster's obvious favor of Lucy's brother Freddy and George Emerson - the silly ones who go for a romping swim in a pond - and makes plain his disfavor for Cecil Vyce, Lucy's stiff and condescending intended. This philosophy of life comes to full fruition when George kisses Lucy and even dares to kiss her again. By the rules of society, he is an indecent cad, but Forster would encourage us to find the beauty in it instead. Furthermore, this is not merely a story of a brainless girl who is tossed from an unfeeling fiance to an affectionate suitor. Rather, it is a story of a girl's realization of herself and her will. She triumphs as a thinking and feeling girl at the end and that's what makes the finale a sure victory for the author - he has not fallen into the usual trap of creating a two dimensional heroine.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant read, a little dated
This novel is a pleasant read and a fairly good story, and while the plot is fairly universal and timeless, the style of writing seems a bit dated. Read more
Published 7 months ago by GraniteInAStream
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice edition of a classic
This beautiful pocket-sized book tells the story of a young woman searching for freedom and her own identity. This "Bildungsroman" is a must-have in every library!
Published 7 months ago by Bookworm
2.0 out of 5 stars a snoozer
Certainly not a spellbinder. Never finished it, as everytime I picked it up and started reading I got sleepy. wouldn't recommend it.
Published 8 months ago by Alice Wile
5.0 out of 5 stars A Room with a View
This is an amazing romantic book that presents life in a lighthearted manner with some of its pitfalls and disappointments. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Boyko Ovcharov
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly enjoyable classic
The film starring Helena Bonham Carter in the role of Lucy Honeychurch is one of my favorites, and having watched it several times, I decided to read the book. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Reader's Remarks
3.0 out of 5 stars The Florentine Effect
Forster's turn-of-the-century novel about British snobbery opens in the Renaissance mecca of Florence, Italy, where middle-class tourists clash with both passionate natives and... Read more
Published on June 18 2003 by Plume45
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Although I don't know many people who have read this book, I would recommend it to anyone who's interested in great literature. Read more
Published on April 7 2002 by E. M. Rhudy
3.0 out of 5 stars a beautifully written, not very intesting drone
I didn't like this book. Short, written as gorgeously as anything else Forster wrote, there just isn't anything worthwhile going on. Read more
Published on March 5 2002 by asphlex
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel for the ages
As a gentle comedy of pre World War I manners and sensibilities, set in Florence and England, E. M. Forster's "A Room With a VIew" is a 20th century masterpiece. Read more
Published on March 1 2002 by R. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite!
Reading this book is a joy. The prose is beautiful, and the characters are interesting. But the most wonderful aspect is Forster's breathtaking descriptions of first the Italian,... Read more
Published on Dec 28 2001
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